Summary: john paints a perfect picture of heaven - it’s security, it’s foundation , and it’s contents
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
When I was a kid we used to draw up on a piece of paper the way we wanted our homes to look. We would have little streams and bridges running through the middle of our homes, and then cut out a little character and walk them through the home. It was neat to try and dream up the ultimate house. It’s fun to dream about living in the ultimate dream home - you know - the kind with a big screen TV, a hot tub, the works. Even though we may never own it, it’s fun to dream anyway.
Did you ever dream about what heaven will be like? The picture downstairs pictures Jesus walking with two children up to a gloriously gold and white palace. There’s not many drawings of heaven, because it’s hard to picture - isn’t it? But that’s what John does in today’s text.
The Perfect Portrait of Paradise Is Painted for You
I. Showing you it’s security system
If you were to plan the ultimate retirement home - what you would really need - with all of that expensive equipment - is a security system. I can guarantee you that every new home out at McFarland Farm will have security systems. Not only that, but they will also have a gate at the entry way where only certain people can enter. You need security!
That’s one of the first things that John notices. God carried him up to a high mountain - and he noticed the Holy City, Jerusalem come flying down out of the sky. As this city was coming down, he noticed the huge walls that surrounded the city. John later on says that these walls were 1400 miles high and 200 feet thick. It was like a perfect square - with three gates on each side. If you are familiar with Old Testament history, you will notice immediately the similarity between this City and the way the Israelites encamped in the wilderness. Three tribes would be on the north. Three on the south. Three on the west. And three on the east. It would be perfect protection in the middle of the desert - to have the people surround the temple in a perfect square. Not only were there huge walls around the city, but there were also 12 angels standing at each gate - keeping any intruders from coming in. In other words, heaven will be secure! No intruders will be able to come in.